As Irma Dissipates, Battered Florida Assesses Scope of Damage

Fierce winds were whipping this road in Naples Florida on Sunday but the threat of destructive sea surges loomed even larger

The Florida Keys took a direct hit from Irma at one of the storm's most powerful points.

Jacksonville is now experiencing record-setting flooding from Irma's storm surge.

Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm over Florida, but it still had winds near hurricane force. Sea World and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay said Monday that they are assessing damage and would announce their reopening plans later. Winds from the storm, including external feeder bands, push water toward shore.

Rescue mode: Mayor Lenny Curry said his city is in "rescue mode", with teams working to evacuate people from low-lying areas impacted by the flooding.

After crushing the Caribbean and southern Florida, Irma turned north on Monday, causing fresh damage throughout much of SC, and bringing some of the worst flooding in Charleston.

Irma was downgraded from a hurricane to tropical storm Monday, but that did little to quell the threat of more destruction in the coming hours. Water reached the children's vehicle seats by the time rescuers were able to get to them.

Widespread power outages: Most of the city doesn't have power, officials said.

The white-sand beaches of Naples Florida stood near-deserted as Hurricane Irma closed
The white-sand beaches of Naples Florida stood near-deserted as Hurricane Irma closed

The National Weather Service says winds gusted to 72 mph (115 kph) at Folly Beach Pier about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of downtown Charleston. A tropical storm warning was issued for the first time ever in Atlanta, and school was canceled in communities around the state. He said he has homes there and in Houston, which was hit by heavy flooding from Hurricane Harvey two weeks ago.

The storm is plowing into Georgia and others parts of the Deep South - Alabama, Tennessee and the Carolinas - bringing the danger of life-threatening storm surge and hazardous winds.

Anxious relatives, generous volunteers and frantic neighbors turned to social media after Hurricane Irma wiped out electricity and cell service to many communities around Florida, cutting off most contact with remote islands in the Keys. By Monday afternoon, the former Category 5 hurricane had top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (95 kph) as its core kept weakening on its march into the Southeast. Up to 6 inches of rain is possible in SC.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. reported about 12,000 customers without service Monday.

At least five deaths were reported from the storm in Florida.

Officials say there was no damage at the airport but they were waiting Monday on restoration of power before flights can take off and land.

On the Atlantic coast off South Carolina, Hilton Head Island's 42,000 residents were under an evacuation order this morning.

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